And None Shall Speak
Summary: It was a crisp, clear autumn night when Jack received his first inkling of the idea that this whole thing might eventually come back to kick him squarely in the teeth. Jack x Celia, guest appearance by Muffy.
It was a crisp, clear autumn night when Jack received his first inkling of the idea that this whole thing might eventually come back to kick him squarely in the teeth.
He had just led Shelby back to the pasture after a long, late-night ride down to the shore, around past Patrick and Kassey's place, up to the pond, and back again, and begun to stumble exhaustedly back to the house, when he froze, aware in the burning itch at the back of his head that he was being watched.
"Oh, hey, Muffy, what's up?" he asked absently, returning to the lock and fumbling with his keys.
"I just came by to offer my congratulations."
The restrained fury in her voice sent him wheeling sharply about, afraid for his life if he didn't keep an eye on her. Who knew what weapons she might be concealing under that silky little dress he'd peeled off of her just yesterday? She seemed like the pistol-in-the-thigh-holster type of girl to him.
Too bad she hadn't been wearing it last night.
"How long were you planning to keep this from me?"
"Celia's been glowing for days now, and Marlin told me last night between snarls that you proposed last week."
"Very eloquent, Jack," Muffy noted, voice like ice, arms crossed and eyes blazing. "Anything else to add?"
"Hmph. No, then." She gave a long sigh, and a twinge of guilt hit him as the air leaving her lungs seemed to take the anger, energy, and colour out of her with it. "Why wouldn't you just tell me you weren't serious?"
"I—I don't know," he admitted, stumbling slightly over the words and wincing when his hand was slapped quickly away from her shoulder. "I didn't want to give you up, I guess. No, Muffy, give me a minute," he implored, stilling an impending burst of fury with a raised hand. "I really do care a lot about you. I mean, Celia's the sensible choice. She's the perfect farmer's wife. But whenever I'm with you, I can forget all the stress I'm under and just…have fun for once."
"Glad I could help," she muttered, turning hastily away.
sniffle broke the stifling silence. His heart dropped through the
bottom of his stomach. Almost at the same moment, a blaze of anger
shot up through him, burning away the uncomfortable tuggings of
"Hey, believe what you want, Muffy, but I never, ever lied to you."
"Like hell you didn't!" she snarled, wheeling on him again, heedless of the tear tracks gleaming on her cheeks in the moonlight. "You've told me again and again that you love me—"
"I already said, that wasn't a lie," he whispered, moving forward to cup her cheek.
Again, his hand was knocked immediately away.
"You also indicated that there was a future in this."
"No, I didn't. I have never lied to you."
"I suppose a willing omission of the truth isn't the same thing as a lie when you're not the one being deceived," Muffy said with a disgusted sniff.
"What are you talking about?" he demanded wearily. Goddamn women and their genetic inability to get to the point and let him get some goddamn sleep!
"'You want to go to Paris? Sure thing, sweetie, I'll book us into the best honeymoon suite I can find,'" she mimicked sourly. "'You're shopping for sheets? Here, take some extra money and get satin – I like satin sheets. Get blue – they'll match my room the best.'"
"Damn," Jack said, utterly lost, shaking his head. "You've got a hell of a memory." He chuckled softly. "Hey, I'll still take you to Paris someday, if you want."
"You—you are disgusting," she sputtered helplessly. Then she sighed again. "Poor Celia."
He regarded her scornfully, eyes growing hard.
"Poor Celia is getting a pretty good deal out of this. Come on, she's got a husband with a steady job to take care of her, and you should know that she's always wanted kids – girls always talk about that sort of crap whether they've been friends for ten years or an hour. Vesta's going to help us out, too. You know she wants her special little girl to be well provided for. Not to mention, she's got a hell of a reputation. It can only help my business if people see Sirius Farm and think Vesta, right? We're both benefiting here. And hell, you don't think Celia's going to be glad to get away from that sick stalker?"
"If you're talking about Marlin, he's twice the man you'll ever be, Jack. At least he has some concept of what love means."
"Hey, great!" he exclaimed, laughing sarcastically. "Why don't you go jump into his bed for a while, distract him and keep him the hell away from my wife?"
His groin gave a throb at the idea of the girl currently glaring daggers at him, giving Vesta's perpetually grumpy little brother the night of his life. And then blowing his head off – she'd have the gun, of course. Blood splattered over the delicately pale skin of those perfectly shaped breasts and those gorgeous thighs…
"Because after all, we wouldn't want her to have someone to turn to when she finds out what you're really like."
"Listen, Princess, just because you were too willing to believe in some fairytale doesn't mean you have any right to make accusations about—"
"Nami left this morning," Muffy interrupted quietly. Jack felt another twitch of guilt. Or maybe it was just the knowledge that he wouldn't get to see those eyes blazing down at him with the kind of frenzied fire he hardly ever saw in the constantly detached and composed redhead, anymore. "She was at the Blue Bar last night until closing time. After she heard what Marlin had to say about Celia's engagement, she gave me a collection of artifacts from the mines and asked me to destroy them for her. Say whatever the hell you want about me, Jack, but Nami and Celia do not deserve this."
"Oh, come on! Just because every girl in town jumped on the first new guy who doesn't look like a caricature or still wear diapers—"
"It sounds to me like you find the rosy glow of youth pretty attractive, if Lumina and Romana's expressions when they heard about you and Celia are any indication. For God's sake, Jack, she's still a kid, and you—"
With an annoyed huff, he turned back to the house.
"Look, if you have to keep shouting at me, can we at least take it inside?"
He bit back a chuckle at her noise of unmingled disgust.
"I've got nothing else to say to you."
His smile widened as he turned slightly.
"Good," he murmured, moving forward to back her up against the side of the house. "Because I really don't feel like talking anymore."
Her startled, indignant yelp was swallowed abruptly by a heated kiss. His hands found her wrists when she moved to shove him roughly away, and pinned them tightly to the rough wooden siding despite the squeaks and despairing moans humming against his lips. He'd been stiff and aching for her since she'd shown up hurling insults at him; he'd turn them into desperate moans and cries before long.
"Getoff, you sick pig!" she ordered, furious and breathless, as his stubble raked a trail down the curve of her throat.
He chuckled against the soft, cool skin.
"Ask nicely, Angel," he purred, gripping both wrists in one hand, the other drifting down to cup her breast through that vivid crimson silk. He flicked gently at one already hardening bud, and felt his pants tighten just that little bit more as she gave a strangled sob and redoubled her efforts to squirm free.
Her breath was rough and erratic, stirring his hair as he nipped and bit roughly at her through the bodice of her dress and slipped one hand up under her skirt, groaning aloud at the sensation of satinsmooth skin beneath his fingers.
She twisted roughly in his arms, her angry threats of graphic, creative and painful death dying down to a gasping whimper as his lips pressed tightly to her throat until she began to choke, increasing his pressure until she sagged dizzily against the side of the house.
"Are you going to shut the hell up and and come inside, or am I going to break your pretty little neck?" he murmured against her, pushing her lacy little underthings aside.
Her sob verged dangerously on a wail, and he brought his other arm down to press in at her collarbones until she fell silent, watching him with big blue eyes so terrified, he thought with delighted smirk, that no one would guess just from looking at her that she'd probably let most of the valley between those gorgeous milkwhite legs.
He nearly missed the sound of a door clicking open from across the farmyard.
Dropping her abruptly, he turned quickly away and moved instinctively to shield her as she straightened her skirt and gasped desperately for air.
"Oh, hey, Takakura," he greeted, striving for nonchalance and praying that the darkness might hide his discomfort.
The elderly man watched him suspiciously.
"I heard a scream. Everything okay out here?"
problem," he laughed, stepping aside. "Muffy came to visit,
and I thought she was a burglar."
Takakura's dark eyes jumped from his best friend's son to the young woman's expression, miserable, terrified, and furious, and his mouth tightened. After a long moment, he nodded, eyes remaining on Muffy.
"I'll walk you home."
"No, that's okay," she said hurriedly, voice still shaking slightly.
"Come on, let's go," Takakura insisted, taking her arm carefully, concern etched into his lined, leathery face.
"G'night, Muffy. Sorry about this."
A mutter of something decidedly impolite drifted back to him as he opened the door and stomped inside, cursing at the impeccably bad timing of nosey old men and preparing for a long night.
End Notes: Um. I strongly suspect that both the reason for the title, and the entire plot in general, are pretty obvious already. What can I say? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I ain't. XD